Mavin Records CEO Don Jazzy says he regrets not signing musicians like Falz, Simi, and Teni.
The record producer spoke with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, the TV host, in the second part of his Black Box Interview.
Things didn’t work out between Falz and Mavin, according to Don Jazzy, since the singer was under the management of another person.
Simi was not selected as a winner in the music cover contest held by the record label to find new artists, according to the label’s CEO.
“Regrets? I wish I signed Falz; Simi. Of course, the opportunity came. Don’t say I turned them down. For Falz, the working situation wasn’t just right. I run a firm that could handle almost everything he needed,” Don Jazzy said.
“But I think he had like a management company set up already. It was like Tiwa Savage’s but I had to grow into that kind of scenario where I had to handle someone that had a record label, some blueprint process.
“I didn’t reject Simi. I did a Twitter contest for ‘Journey of A Thousand Miles’, DPrince’s record featuring Wande Coal. I loved her cover. She was one of the people that participated. She didn’t win but she was high up there.
“I didn’t pick the winners. I liked her but you can’t sign anybody. That’s one person I also regretted, I won’t say regret. But I wish we worked on stuff together. The same thing with Teni. We used to check up on each other.
“I had not grown to the point that I would move you from Atlanta to Nigeria for work. Now I can and we work before deciding if we are going to sign. Before I knew what was happening, there were faster people.
“She released records and I was like, ‘okay, we lost that one’. Three hot stars. It happened. The only person is David. I didn’t want to sign him but I knew he was going to be huge. They have money already now.”
Don Jazzy also disclosed how his record label finds new artists to sign.
The head of a record label revealed that he hires teenagers from all over Nigeria, but only those who meet his criteria for record deals and “activation” are chosen.
“Apart from the activated artistes, I have some artistes that you people don’t know. Ayra Star was in the academy before I activated her. In the academy, you grow under the radar, work in the studio with my producers,” he added.
“It’s like a football academy. Not everyone there will play premiership. You work. There are 16-year-olds, 17, 18 from different parts of the country. They’re already earning money while working. So they’re comfortable.
“There are 50 of them so far. If you don’t make it into the major leagues, you don’t owe me. The kind of songs you put out, how you blend with the team, and the market demand for your song are what determine if you make it.
“You might see them on social media releasing their music but you won’t know whether they’re Mavin Academy or not. I can’t just choose blindly. I need to see even your aunty or neighbour praising you before I can put money.
“It takes a lot but let me see you working hard enough to convince your audience you have talent because when people get signed with a major label, they become complacent. But that’s only where the journey begins.”